Sandstorm: Doomed Souls

Friday October 15, 2010 at 5:30pm d&d, sandstorm, game session notes Comments (0) »

The group spent the rest of the night speaking with Selkin, planning their assault on the occupied citadel the next day.  Their plan involved an initial phase wherein after they were noticed by the flying creatures, they would lure them into the ruin of the village below the citadel, taking shelter under bits of rubble, forcing the creatures to land an engage them on the ground.  Hoping to take out a decent percentage of them at this point, they would then take their chances on the spiraling ledge which led up to the citadel gate where they would make their final assault.

Selkin told them that the area that contained the ruins was about 3 hours to the north, so they would need to leave the following morning if they planned to being their assault after the midday rest.  Upon approaching the shallow pass which lead into the village area, Selkin signaled to a scout he'd had posted.  A slight creature descended from the cliffs above the village and joined the group.  Her name was Mira.  She was heavily cloaked and wore gloves and goggles.  Tisroc seemed to get the impression that she wasn't human.  Mira reported to Selkin that she'd heard some commotion the evening before last, but wasn't sure what it was about.  Further, the prior morning, she had observed a band of hobgoblins enter the area and then move out of the far side of the valley.  She suspected that they had some interest in the citadel, but she hadn't seen them since.

Selkin reviewed the plan with Mira and his men, and then they jumped into action.  Sure enough, the flying humanoid creatures noticed them almost immediately and descended from the citadel.  The group fled into the village and, by employing some geurilla techniques and with some considerable good fortune, they were able to kill several of them before the remaining ones fled.  After a moment's regroup, they hurried to the pathway which led up to the gate of the citadel.

They'd made it about a third of the way up, when the second wave came out to meet them, this time somewhat more coordinated.  An initial group began flying around near the pathways, pelting the groups with arrows while a couple others performed flyby maneuvers, attempting (and sometimes succeeding) to grab members of the party and throw them off the ledges.  Finally, two of the creatures flew out a bit further away, and began to sing a haunting sort of song.  The song pried open the minds of several of the bandits, causing them to walk off the ledges toward the source of the sound, ultimately falling to their deaths.

The group was finally able to make it to the top and enter the citadel.  The inside of the citadel was very tall and hollow.  There was a large statue of a robed man in the middle of this vast circular entry chamber, and there were many doors and balconies on multiple levels.  Skirmishes inside were brief and somewhat sporadic.  Selkin told his (remaining) men to spread out and find the statue with the rubies.  The party began looking around also.

Tisroc found a barricaded door which he suspected led downward, but decided against opening it right away.  The group ultimately ended up joining Selkin and his group on one of the higher floors - he had found his statue.  It was a massive, brass carving of some demonic creature.  It did, indeed, have two fist-sized ruby eyes.  One of the bandits was attempting to pry them out when they all felt a brief pounding that caused them all to freeze.  Tisroc began questioning Tisroc as to whether defacing the statue was wise, but he seemed rather unconcerned.  When the bandit had actually pried the first gem loose, a terrific impact was felt by all present, nearly knocking some of them over.  When nothing further happened, Selkin smiled.  Tisroc asked if they would wait a while before prying the other gem loose - to give him and his friends time to find what they were searching for and leave.  Selkin agreed.

The party descended into the sub-levels.  The first one they found seemed to have been some kind of laboratory.  It contained the remnants of rotted tables and broken glassware as well as several skeletons that had been bound to some of the larger tables.  At least one of these skeletons was decidedly inhuman - being nearly 8 feet tall and possessed of a canine-like head.

The level beneath this was a dungeon area, full of crumbling stone walls and rusted metal gates.  It was generally empty, but there was the remains of one skeleton still chained to the wall in one of the cells.  This skeleton had rotted clothing and what looked like some kind of leather or hide armor and a rusted old rapier still in its scabbard fasted to its side.

Descending from the dungeon led into the crypts.  They followed some winding passages around until they found their way to the newest graves - which were about 600 years old.  It was here that Tisroc found the grave of Lord Artal Al'Kim that his mentor had mentioned:

"Here lie the mortal remains of Lord Artal Al'Kim - If only his spirit knew such rest."

Underneath this in smaller text was the following tale:

"Artal bargained for some favor with a demon called Acklex.  Coming later to regret this decision, he sought the counsel of Makalo, the wisewoman of Drakol, and gifted of Nephthys.  Unfortunately, she informed him that, since his oath had been made in full knowing and without hesitation, its binding would not fray.  His soul would sadly overbalance Ma'at.  Let his fate be a caution to all who seek unnatural gain."

Tisroc wanted to examine the remains of the body and, after some convincing of Alina, got Glitch to help him remove the nameplate and the stone sarcophagus.  The remaining bones were frail and disjointed.  The burial clothes were all but dust.  The skeleton did bear a brass ring which Tisroc supposed to be a house seal and some rather unusual protrusions on its head above its eyes.

After having seen all they could find, the group began heading out.  As they were crossing the dungeon, however, a glowing, incorporeal man appeared before him.  Drawing a ghostly rapier from his side he proclaimed to Tisroc: "Allakim!  I have much vengence to repay, and I'm afraid the responsibility falls to you!"

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